Wednesday, 25 March 2020


Lade - cool, sunny, se 2 - Lockdown Day 2 - I walked the garden first thing with the dog, which took all of ten minutes, just to ensure a crippling rarity hadn't dropped in overnight in the bushes, and then retreated indoors with a cuppa to check the bird feeders through the window for half an hour. It was the usual spadgers, doves and pigeons, plus Robin, Dunnock and Wren around the pond, but not a sniff of a Bluethroat!
  At 0800hrs we set off on our permitted daily exercise walk out across the shingle, south towards Kerton Road pit, returning home alongside the lakes and ponds where a pair of Stonechats and a Fieldfare over were the only additions to yesterdays foray. However, as the sun rose and the thermals bounced off the stones, a pause by the aerial ramp scanning towards the airfield delivered the wonderful sight of a male Marsh Harrier `sky-dancing` with a female, while a second bird looked on. Also up and soaring, three Buzzards and two Kestrels, plus Curlews coming off the beach to roost and a `mewing` Mediterranean Gull high overhead.
  Back home, after delivering groceries to local elderly folk in self-isolation, I settled down in the back garden for a spot of sky-watching. During a two hour session around noon several more Curlews, Mediterranean Gulls and Oystercatchers flew overhead, while a female Sparrowhawk flew through the garden scattering the sparrows but misfiring.
  With a light south-easterly airflow off the continent, all morning I`d been expecting a Red Kite and sure enough following a tip off from DB one passed along the coast and over the cottage receiving a good old south coast welcome by the local avian bullies, aka - Herring Gulls. Other kites were also reported today from Littlestone and St Mary-in-the-Marsh.  

                                Barney enjoying the spring sunshine

                                Plovers sky-watching position

                               The only jet in two hours!

I-pod selection
I can`t image why, but since the coronavirus lockdown virtual visitors to this blog have almost doubled (to at least 10!), in contrast to our paying guests booked on spring Birdwatching Breaks which have had to be either cancelled/deferred until goodness knows when. So, with more time on my hands than is safe and in a desperate attempt to make the blog slightly more interesting, and keep me sane, I`ve decided to waffle on a bit more than usual. Those of you who know me will be saying, "well that shouldn't be too difficult!". Anyhow, it may not always be bird related but I`ll attempt to keep the vibe high and not mention the C word.
  OK, here we go, first offering: Music, in my humble opinion is the greatest human art form. Whilst updating this blog the I-pod has been pumping out a selection of random tunes Pat and I put together a while ago, mostly of bands we`ve seen down the years or music we just love or has some meaning or relevance. I made a note as they came out, so pick the bones out of this lot and see what you think:
- Jennifer Warnes - Empty Bottle - American vocalist with a haunting voice.
- Elvis - In the Ghetto - I`m not a great fan of the King, Pat is, but this one is my favourite.
- Carole King -  Smackwater Jack - off the classic 1971 album Tapestry.
- Oysterband - Milford Haven - a roller coaster tour of Britain from the Kent folk rockers.
Dr John  - Down in New Orleans - memories of 9/11 when we were in that fascinating city.
- Steve Forbert  - The Oil Song - classic protest song from an old folkie from the deep south.
- Billy Bragg - Man in the Iron Mark - a moving song from the angry man of English folk.
- Paul McCartney - Blackbird - one of the best ballads ever written, pure genius.
- Glenn Campbell - MacArther Park - written by the legendary Jimmy Webb, three songs in one!
- Van Morrison - Days like this - reminds of my dear old mum, how I miss her.
- Nick Drake - Northern Sky - a fine track from the tortured balladeer from the 70`s.
 -The Clash - Rock the Casbah - West London`s finest, I used to see Mick Jones at Loftus Road.
 - Bowie - Life on Mars? - "From Ibeza to the Norfolk Broads", masterful lyrics from David.
Buffy Sainte-marie - Universal Soldier - classic anti-war song.
- Michelle Shocked - Anchorage - saw her at the Jazz Café once, she was on stage for over 3 hours! 
- Rod Stewart - Mandolin Wind - Rod at his best, and he even played the banjo back then.
- Moody Blues - Forever Autumn - Got all their old albums, saw Justin Haywood at Canterbury a few year back, his voice was still like a clarion bell.
  That's it for now, look some of `em up, they`re guaranteed to put a smile on your face in these troubled times, many are from the 1970`s though, but then that was the best decade ever for music!

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